Installing "Viridian" CTP on Windows Server 2008 RC0

So, it appears that the RC0 bits for Windows Server 2008 have been posted to the intarwebs.  As I said in a previous post, the CTP release of the "Viridian" virtualization technology is included in this release of Windows Server.

Ben Armstrong has some good reminders for anyone who wants to try this out, so I would very much recommend that you go check his post before you proceed with the installation.

Things to keep in mind:

  • This is a preview release – the performance of this build is not anywhere close to what it will be at the RTM release of Windows Server virtualization.  
  • Installing the CTP of "Viridian" will prevent you from upgrading to a newer build of Windows.  If you install "Viridian" CTP, there is no upgrade path – you must either clean install your server, or uninstall the "Viridian" CTP before you upgrade to a newer Windows build.
  • "Viridian" requires you have a processor that has Hardware-assisted Virtualization (Intel VT or AMD Pacifica) present and enabled in the BIOS. On AMD machines we require that the processor stepping be >=F3 (or that F2 processors have BIOS support).  To determine what revision your processor is, check out the utility from
  • You also need to have NX (also known as XD for eXecute Disable) turned on in the BIOS. 
  • "Viridian" is only available on x64 versions of Windows Server 2008. 

So, now that we’ve got all that out of the way, here’s how you install it.

  1. Install Windows Server 2008 RC0 Full (I have no idea what we’re calling the non-Server Core version, so I refer to it as "Full").
  2. In Explorer, navigate to %SystemRoot%\WSV.  You should find two MSU files.
  3. Double-click on Windows6.0-KB939854-X64.MSU.  This will install the Windows Server virtualization Management Tools in the Administrative Tools program group.
  4. Double-click on Windows6.0-KB939853-X64.MSU.  This will stage Windows Server virtualization for installation on your server, and allow it to show up in the Role Management Tool.
  5. Reboot the server.
  6. If it’s not already open, click the Server Manager icon from the Quick Launch bar. 
  7. The Roles Summary section should tell you how many Roles you have installed and how many Roles are available for installation. 
    If you have 17 Roles available, press the F5 key to refresh the list.  If you have 18, click Add Roles.
  8. From the list of available Roles, put a checkmark in the box that corresponds to Windows Server virtualization, and click Next.
  9. From here, the Role wizard should guide you through the rest of the process, and reboot your server when necessary.
Comments (15)

  1. Windows Server 2008 Release Candidate 0 was officially announced today and will be available for everyone

  2. Welcome back everybody. I hope that you found yesterday’s post on how to install the “Viridian” CTP to

  3. Jim Reuter says:

    thanks for the info.  BTW, it is called the "Full" installation in the install choice window.

  4. Earlier this week, I posted instructions on how to install the "Viridian" CTP on Windows Server 2008

  5. Roy says:

    I thought Viridian was a bare-metal solution or will run alongside a lite version of Windows Server.  Why is it that a "Full" install of Windows Server 2008 is required?  Will this change with the final product?

  6. Mike Kolitz says:

    Hi Roy –

    "Viridian" is a Role in Windows Server 2008, similar to IIS or Active Directory.  For the current CTP, "Viridian" only installs on the Full edition of Windows Server.  We will be supporting installation on Server Core as well as Server Full later in the release cycle.

  7. Jag har installerat Windows Server 2008 RC0 och Viridian på Den är installerad på den locala

  8. AndyPandy says:


    Viridian is not really a bare metal solution like the main competition. Windows Server is still wrapped around it. All I/O goes through drivers in Windows Server. Thus the virtualization engine does not have its own drivers. The advantage is that Windows drivers can be used. The disadvantage is that the kernel is rather large compared to the main competition.

    Which is better? You be the judge. Certainly Viridian is force to be reckoned with.

  9. If like me you have tried to install the WSV CTP on an Acer Ferrari 1000 or 5000, both sport an AMD Turion 64 X2 processor, you have probably encountered a problem starting a virtual machine after a successful installation of WSV…

  10. Can you expand on the AMD F2 stepping issue? I’m at a loss of how to frame a request to the machine manufacturer for a BIOS upgrade without being able to explain the issue.

  11. Mike Kolitz says:

    Janique – Unfortunately, no.  The BIOS update contains some updates for hardware virtualization, so it’s required for F2 processors.  Processors with an F3 or greater revision already have the necessary updates.  Sorry I can’t provide a greater amount of information.

  12. Kiran says:

    We are trying to install Viridian on new AMD Barcelona NPT machine and we got error "hypervisor is not running". This processor is with F2 and updated to the latest BIOS driver. Does anybody know whether one can run Viridian on new AMD Barcelona NPT machines?

  13. Virtual Dev says:

    I am very pleased with the x64 guest capabilities in 2008 RC0. Can’t wait to see it running over the core install. Any udates on what the final footprint of the core will be?

    A few issues/observations:

    1.) Both Sever 2003/2008 x64 guests installed fine. Before the Integration Components (VM Additions) intalled, I was able to run 32-bit color from the display setting (at least it was an option). After the components installed, only 16-bit color is an option. Any ideas?

    2.) I was able to use a x32 OS vhd file built with VPC 2007 as a Viridian vhd. Works great. However, the vhd file no longer boots in VPC 2007 (VPC 2007 is on a Vista box). I assume this is due to the conversion Viridian performs on the vhd. Will VPC be udated to handle Viridian vhd(s)? Is there a way to convert the Viridian vhd back to VPC format?

    3.) Will any Micsosoft VM be able to run at 1920 / 1200? I have not seen anything over 1600 to this point.

  14. Mike Kolitz says:

    Virtual Dev – I don’t have the answers to your questions right now – let me do some research and I’ll post the answers when I can.